Saturday, January 15, 2011

Doing the right thing stinks

I ordered medical alert bracelets for Mom and Dad.  Mom’s was through the Alzheimer’s Association Safe Return program. Dad’s is one I ordered off of Amazon.Com because he takes warfarin (a blood thinner)

Mom’s came first, so I waited until Dad’s came in and then I gave them to both of them yesterday. Both of the bracelets were loose, so my DH had to take out links.

Mom’s was intrigued at first. She liked the idea that it had on the bracelet itself her first name, that she was hard of hearing, that she had allergies, that she has asthma and high blood pressure and that she couldn’t have an MRI (although she had forgotten why) It also has an 800 number that can be called and other medical info can be given as well as who to contact if she were to get lost.

She liked it, but after I put it on her, she said we wouldn’t wear it all the time. I told her she really needed to wear it at home and wherever she went. In other words- all the time.

I gave her her night time pills and she asked me to take off the bracelet. I told her she needed to keep it on. She wasn’t happy.

I started to get ready for bed and she followed me and insisted I take it off.

“I can’t sleep with this on. I’m not used to having things on my right wrist.”

“Would you like me to put it on your left wrist?”

“No. I have too many things on my left wrist (watch). You need to take this off so I can sleep.”

“Mom, the idea is to have it on all the time. It’s a safety precaution.”

“I don’t want it.”

“Dr. P wants you to have one.”

“I don’t remember that.”

“Its true.”

“I’m not that bad yet.”

“The idea is to wear it before you get that bad. It only takes one time for you to get confused and leave the house for you to get into trouble.”

“I won’t do that.”

“Mom, I have to leave it on.”

“Then I’ll find a way to get it off myself.”

“Mom- wearing this bracelet will keep you home and out of a nursing home longer. If you take it off I’ll have to talk to Dr. P about other alternatives”

“I didn’t know wearing a bracelet could keep you out of a nursing home. If I’d known that I’d have started wearing one years ago. (sarcasm…) Take it off!”

“No. I’m going to bed. I love you.”

“yeah right.”

So- now I’ve taken away a bit more of her autonomy and her dignity. I’ve opened up the wounds from last night.

How can doing the right thing seem to be so bad at times? This stinks.


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